The Daily Journal, Friday, April 26

In today’s Journal

▪ Quotes of the day
▪ Most of the novels
▪ Topic: Balance
▪ Daily diary
▪ Of Interest
▪ The numbers

Quotes of the Day:

“The critical voice is about fear, and the creative voice is about joy.” Kristine Kathryn Rusch

“[F]igure out how to keep your critical voice busy with important tasks that are not writing-related.” Kristine Kathryn Rusch

For a moment, just before 9 a.m., I thought PWW didn’t go out via MailChimp as it should have this morning.

Then at 9:02 it appeared in my in-box. I forgot I’d reset it to go out at 9 a.m. (grin) So all’s well for the moment with PWW.

Be sure to check out Robert Sadler’s “My Five Requirements for a Series….” at

Most of the novels in the Blackwell Ops series are short, coming in at around 35,000 words. That alone tells me there’s a good chance my WIP is nearing completion.

Today will also be the 14th writing day for this novel. In calendar days, though, this one’s gone on for 17 days, counting today. WAY outside my original challenge of writing another novel every 15 days.

Topic: Balance

In her Business Musings article on “Taming the Critical Voice” Kris Rusch nailed a few important points, including those in the Quotes of the Day above.

Another big point she made (with me) was that it’s a good idea to give the critical voice a job, something to do that isn’t writing related. To draw a kind of balance between critical and creative voice.

I’ve never delved that deeply into the creative vs. the critical voice. I use the subconscious, creative voice whenever I can because I want my unique, original voice to shine through in my writing. I do the same thing when chatting with friends or relatives, making up stories about “tug snails” and other such odd things.

On the other hand, I use the critical voice only when I have to because it makes sense to me that we learn things with the critical voice. It goes to not believing or taking on board everything we hear or read.

When we read for pleasure, we want to believe and take on board everything. It’s called “suspension of disbelief.” But we don’t want to employ that suspension when we’re learning new techniques.

For example, you should read my (and others’) posts and topics with your critical mind. Not everything I or others say will work for you (gasp!), so you should be prepared to toss out what you’re certain won’t work for you.

If an idea appeals to you at all, certainly you should try it. But if you find it doesn’t work for you, don’t hesitate to toss it out. That’s exactly what I do.

The other HUGE point I took away from Kris’ article is that the creative voice just wants to have fun. And writing, that best of all functions of the creative voice for writers, should always be fun.

So soon, to bring a little more balance, I’ll be testing Kris’ theorum in two ways.

First, I have some Pop-Up workshops, a couple of unviewed regular online workshops, and some previously viewed workshops — all from WMG Publishing — that I’ve been meaning to attend.

So soon I’ll set up a schedule to do that. That will effectively give my conscious, critical mind something to do. First setting up a learning schedule, and then attending those workshops.

I won’t take a month off of my writing and do that all at once. That would just be silly. And I think it might kill me.

But I can set aside one day a week or one day every couple of weeks or one day between writing projects to attend those workshops, some to learn new things and some to review things I’ve already taken on board.

I’ll also set aside one day between writing projects (or one day a week or every couple of weeks) to do nothing but pre-pub stuff: covers, promo documents, etc.

And in between those critical-mind learning or pre-pub days, I’ll write.

As you know, I’m currently writing a run of stories in a single series, albeit with a different POV character (or characters) in each novel.

And I have another, spin-off series lingering in the back of my mind. And (as he has for the past 5 years) Wes Crowley is lingering in my mind. And I have a few SF story-starters or series-continuers lingering in my mind.

So no shortage of stories to write.

But I mention that because writing should also be fun.

The instant I feel bored with the current series, I’ll (take a day or two of pre-pub and learning and then) write something in a different world.

It might be something brand new, or it might be something based in a world I haven’t written in for awhile.

That’s how I’ll keep the writing — and more importantly, my experience and practice with the writing — fresh and new. And balanced.

How about you? What did you take away from Kris’ article or from your own thoughts about the creative voice vs. the critical voice?

How do you deal with the two? How do you keep the critical voice out of the playground that is your subconscious?

Rolled out shortly after 4 this morning after getting about 4 hours more sleep than I usually get. Wow, what a difference! But apparently I needed it. I feel blessed and am pleased that I don’t need it all that often.

To the Hovel around 4:30, back to the house around 5 to sort out an issue with some meds, then back to the Hovel to write everything above. (I also wrote another article but it sounded snarky so I set it aside.)

Another break up to the house at 6:30 and back to the Hovel an hour later.

Finally to the novel at 7:45 for a short time, then to see my wife off, then back to the novel.

More back and forth to the house, and a fairly meager writing day today, but I’m approaching the end of the thing so this is normal for me.

Talk with you again tomorrow.

Of Interest

(I realize the first two are repeats, but they’re that important.)

If you missed it last week, see “Business Musings: Critical Voice” at

Then see “Business Musings: Taming The Critical Voice” at

See “Some Real Basics” at How can any writer not be aware of standard manuscript format? That stunned me. I wonder whether that knowledge started going away with the advent of indie publishing? Being an indie writer/publisher doesn’t mean it’s all right to let professionalism slide.

See “Reader Friday: Obstacles to Writing” at This is the post that elicited what turned out to be a snarky topic. (grin)

See “How to End a Story” at

For fun, see “Fox in Socks” at (You can also see the vid at

Fiction Words: 2252
Nonfiction Words: 1160 (Journal)
Total words for the day: 3412

Writing of Blackwell Ops 6: Charlie Task (novel)

Day 10… 3212 words. Total words to date…… 25902
Day 11… 2123 words. Total words to date…… 28026
Day 12… 1964 words. Total words to date…… 29990
Day 13… 1026 words. Total words to date…… 31016
Day 14… 2252 words. Total words to date…… 33268

Total fiction words for the month……… 43325
Total fiction words for the year………… 261126
Total nonfiction words for the month… 30850
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 107920
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 369046

Calendar Year 2019 Novels to Date…………………… 5
Calendar Year 2019 Novellas to Date……………… X
Calendar Year 2019 Short Stories to Date… X
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 42
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 7
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 193
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31

2 thoughts on “The Daily Journal, Friday, April 26”

  1. First, I read Dr Suess to my daughters and loved them as a child. Hearing Neil Gaiman read him is a real treat. And hearing Fox in Sox called a novel is too! Neil co-wrote Good Omens with my just about favorite author ever, Terry Pratchett. I resisted reading it for some time because I didn’t want to dilute Terry Pratchett. It’s great.

    Kris Rusch’s post on critical mind hit home with me and i am also going to try to give my critical mind some work it will find worthy too.
    When I’m deep in creative mind I strongly resent having to surface to deal with “real life” like my day job or talking to anyone or leaving the book I’m writing or reading for any reason.This will be interesting to try.
    Thanks again Harvey for the post. Always good stuff from your current experience or gleanings.

    • Thanks, Karen. I’m fortunate in that, over the past few years I’ve developed the ability to 1) recognize that critical voice when it starts to creep in and 2) make it go sit in its corner and be quiet. I probably should leave well enough alone. (grin)

      But Kris’ posts started me thinking about balance, out of curiosity more than anything. So for me it’s an intriguing experiment. If I can “schedule” tasks for my critical mind (without harming my writing), I’ll accomplish two things: I’ll do HR4 more easily, and I’ll learn more.

      If the experiment fails, I’ll go back to the pre-publish and learning stuff on a catch-as-catch-can basis. No harm, no foul.

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